Forging strong partnerships for seamless delivery

APC Overnight is the UK’s largest independent delivery network specialising in the UK overnight delivery market. A multi award-winning company, APC prides itself on embracing technology and consistently strives to improve its efficiency. At a crossroads in its supplier relationships, APC issued a tender to find a supplier of packaging, labels, promotional merchandise, and operational and marketing collateral to supply to its UK network. Seeking to rationalise costs and streamline its processes, APC wanted to partner with a supplier that could offer a ‘one stop shop’ to both produce and distribute all their printed materials.

APC required a simple ordering system that could be accessed by each individual depot. It was also keen to improve value for money for the group as a whole and wanted a partner that could offer consistent pricing to all depots, regardless of their size.

Find out more about how PDS helped APC  by getting in touch today.  Find out more.

Logistics becomes child’s play for national nursery group

Bright Horizons Family Solutions has been ranked as one of the top ten large nursery groups in the UK, thanks to positive ratings from parents and guardians of the children who attend its nurseries. Bright Horizons also offers emergency care services for adults. Bright Horizons was keen to provide easier access to its marketing communications materials for its nurseries and preschools through a better ordering process.

The existing process was centralised via the Marketing team, and individual nurseries did not have the autonomy to make their own orders. The involvement of multiple suppliers gave the Marketing team a significant challenge in keeping track of deliveries and stock levels. The company also had an objective to rationalise the number of suppliers it used to improve brand consistency, reduce costs, and sustain a strong purchasing position.

Find out more about how PDS support Bright Horizons by getting in touch today.

Communication charity helped to reach out through improved fulfilment

I CAN is a charity that supplies multiple product lines including printed materials and resources that help children to improve their communication skills.

National children’s charity, I CAN, provides programmes and services for parents and practitioners to help children with speech and language difficulties. Their research-based materials and fully-trained tutors improve communication skills for children in nurseries and primary schools across the UK. Tutors are currently licensed to deliver I CAN programmes to children taking part in the charity’s three Talk Boost programmes.

I CAN supplies printed materials and resources, sourced through multiple suppliers, all requiring fulfilment to hundreds of individual customers and other end users across a wide geographic area.

“We think of PDS as part of our team – they are flexible, reliable and always go that extra mile to make things happen. Our relationship began in 2008 and as the years go by, it goes from strength to strength. Our account manager is a treasure – he rises to any challenge, be it coming up with as workable solution with only a small budget, meeting an impossible deadline or simply providing great customer service – always.”


Find out more information on how PDS support I CAN by getting in touch.

Building the foundations for success with Winvic

With experience in the construction sector we have helped to generate ideas and deliver solutions for contractor Winvic on impactful branded products, engaging gifts and bespoke printing for their corporate events, proposals and presentations.

Winvic is a building contractor based in Northamptonshire that has become known as the UK’s leading ‘shed specialist’ thanks to its track record of delivering millions of square of storage for the industrial and distribution sector. A multidisciplinary contractor that delivers construction projects on a national scale for a growing list of blue-chip clients, Winvic has diversified into areas including design, build and fit-out of student accommodation, earthworks and infrastructure for civil engineering projects, and education, retail and leisure developments.

The business has built its position in these markets through its commitment to continuous quality improvement using a philosophy it calls the ‘Winvic Way’. An important feature of the Winvic Way is its primary focus on people, from finding and nurturing the best talent to retaining skilled staff and recognising their achievements. The company believes that a happy workforce will deliver a much better service to its clients. Winvic employees say that the feel respected, valued and engaged as part of a ‘work family’.

The team at Winvic approached the design team at agencypds with a brief to create a print item that they could hand out at a graduate recruitment fair in Nottingham. We created a pocket-friendly A5 landscape brochure that showcased the career opportunities and benefits of joining Winvic as a graduate.

Winvic brand guidelines include a distinctive red flash, and our designer replicated its 45-degree angle throughout the design concept using image overlays. The content contained a high volume of copy, but this was broken up using white space to help make the information more digestible. Full colour and mono images were selected from the Winvic library and used to showcase not only projects but the real people who make such a difference to delivering the Winvic brand. Quotes from employees were pulled out and emphasised as part of the design. In addition to the leading red, the brochure design made use of a secondary colour, teal, to provide contrast.

With its link to print management through PDS, this 28-page brochure was printed and delivered to the customer within a very short timescale to ensure that it was available in time for the recruitment fair.

“PDS are a great company. I used them in my previous role at a different company and I have now introduced them to my current employer who are very happy with the service.”


Where could your PDS journey begin?  Get in touch today. 

Hitting the retail sweet spot for Hardys

Our expertise in the retail sector enables us to delight our clients with creative point of sale ideas that helps their products to make an impact in store.

Hardys is one of the nation’s favourite traditional sweet shop supplying retro confectionery lines through retail outlets in prominent locations across the UK. Retailing its own brands of chocolate and confectionery, Hardys product lines and promotions often reflect popular culture including Harry Potter or the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Hardys produce their own confectionery brand designs but called on PDS to help with the development of packaging that would maximise the brands’ impact while offering maximum protection for the contents. They challenged the design team to advise on the most innovative and cost-effective cardboard engineering solutions for their varied and diverse product lines.

As print and packaging specialists, PDS was also able to advise on the use of gloss foils and laminated and embossed materials that could bring Hardys’ confectionery lines to life.

Following extensive research and a site visit to Hardys’ flagship store, the PDS team worked with materials including folding box board, fluted board, and paper over board to produce mock-ups and hand-assembled prototypes for use in trials.

Once the designs have been tested, modified and agreed, CAD drawings are supplied to Hardys to enable their in-house team to lay out the packaging design graphics ready to supply to the printers.

PDS also helped Hardys to source the specialist machinery they now use to cling-wrap their sweet trays.

PDS are now preferred suppliers for all Hardys’ own-brand packaging, providing confectionery cartons, sweet labels and wrappers, labels for pick and mix sweet jars, and branded items of apparel for retail store staff. The team is currently working on a postal confectionery gift box shortly due to be launched online.

Thanks to the broad experience and expertise of PDS, the Hardys team has been able to produce high quality confectionery cartons with luxurious production values at relatively low cost.

With finishing processes for carton printing constantly improving, PDS provides a consultancy service to develop specialist print services that offer increasingly better value. PDS has capitalised on significant developments in varnishing, embossing lamination, and in-line foil blocking to help Hardys develop outstanding and complex work that helps to showcase their highly popular brands.

“Having worked with the team at PDS for many years, I can safely say they are very professional and hard working. PDS make us feel they are our own inhouse team, never failing to deliver and meeting tight deadlines, their level of service is second to none.”

Hardys Original Sweetshop.

Where could your PDS journey begin? We’ll get your packaging solutions all boxed off. Get in touch today.

Top marks in our homework from the college



Find out how we helped a local Northamptonshire college to maximise engagement with its open events through a range of impactful tactics.

Northampton College is a large general further education college offering a range of full-time and part-time courses for young people and adults, as well as supporting hundreds of apprentices working in local businesses. The College offers its own higher education courses as well as others in partnership with the Universities of Northampton and Warwick. Northampton College has soared in national achievement rankings in recent years to become one of the leading colleges in the UK.

The College was keen to showcase its success by attracting young people to visit its open events to inspire them to apply for a study programme. The Marketing team approached PDS with a brief to create a new design concept based on its ‘Start your Story’ theme. The College was already using videos of its new recruits explaining why they had chosen the College and what steps they were taking on their journey towards meaningful careers.

The brief challenged PDS to develop the ‘Start your Story’ theme, placing students and their individual journeys at the centre of the concept. They were tasked with creating collateral that set apart the open event campaign from the corporate brand style, adopting a more fun and contemporary theme, appropriate for the target audience.

The PDS design studio recommended an illustrative route to complement the existing geometric shapes and mono photography of the corporate brand. With the student as hero, line drawings and a script typeface sketched out the steps the student would take to achieve their career goals.

Illustrations included the college building, a laptop, books, and signposts directing the student towards their next steps including higher education, apprenticeships and employment. The treatment was signed off with the strapline ‘I’ve started my story – now it’s time to start yours’.

The new concept became a live video project for design and media students at the College who were asked to film models in their studio so that PDS could overlay an animated version of the illustrations.

PDS arranged for the final video to be projected onto the exterior walls of the College’s campus buildings on the dates of the open events to inspire visitors to find out more. Once inside, attendees at the open events were invited to stand within life size die-cut strut cards, illustrated in the same style, to pose for selfies which they were encouraged to share on social media.
As part of the same campaign, PDS reproduced the concept in a range of formats including 48 sheet billboards, bus street liners, all-weather fence banners, press advertisements and a range of web banners and thumbnails for social media.

The ‘Start your Story’ concept devised by the design team at PDS delivered a number of benefits and made a significant impact, generating a high level of engagement on social media and helping to drive traffic to the College’s website. The Marketing team was delighted to see 17% more online registrations overall compared with the same period in the previous year.

Registrations for the open events in November 2017 at the College’s Northampton campuses were up by 29%, and those in March 2018 benefited from an uplift of 39%. Significantly more visitors (71%) attended the event at the Daventry campus in January 2018.

The Marketing team was able to save costs on the whole campaign with re-usable collateral including the video and die-cut cards.

The development of the original brand style created a concept with longevity that the College can revisit over the course of its annual recruitment cycle. The new design refreshed the brand and created a great platform for the development of original content based on the ‘Start your Story’ theme.

Finally, the concept enabled budding design and media students to gain access to live work experience within commercial constraints of budget and time.

Where could your PDS journey begin? Get in touch.